CMAL Travel Request and Purchase Order Application

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) own the ferries, ports and harbours, and infrastructure necessary for vital ferry services serving the West Coast of Scotland, Clyde Estuary and the Northern Isles. They own 37 ferries, and 16 ports and harbours in the Firth of Clyde and around the Hebrides, and own and lease properties and port infrastructure at 10 other locations within these areas. Their aim is to provide efficient, cost-effective and safe ferries, harbours and port infrastructure for operators, communities and users in and around Scotland.

Intelogy engaged with CMAL to deliver a transformative programme of work for transitioning all operations to the cloud through the utilisation of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. This case study will concentrate on the successful implementation of the Travel Request and Purchase Order applications. The new implementations have replaced legacy SharePoint on-premises systems, reimagining the user experience and enhancing the data model for greater flexibility to better align with the real-world requirements of the use cases.

Challenges

CMAL aimed to transition from legacy infrastructure to a modern, cloud-based Microsoft 365 and Power Platform model, to achieve improved interfaces, enhanced automation, improved data management, and mobile accessibility.

The solutions were proactively designed to align with CMAL’s future plans. As the programme advanced, their integration into upcoming systems built on the Dataverse platform was crafted for a cohesive and forward-looking technological landscape.

Solution Overview

Utilising the capabilities made available by Microsoft 365 and Power Platform, the innovative solutions and their associated processes were designed to centralise and standardise information by implementing consistent data stores and processes. Our team of experts developed two Power Platform solutions for CMAL:

Purchase Order System

Intelogy built a Purchase Order (PO) Requests Application using a model-driven Power App. This application enables staff to request project budget expenditures for predefined reasons. The process ensures that necessary supporting information is provided before submission, enforced by business rules. Project data, including budgets, is sourced from a central Contracts Register held in Microsoft Dataverse. The application maintains a visible history of created purchase orders, offering a comprehensive view of historical expenditure and remaining funds. Submitted requests undergo a central review and approval process. Upon approval, the admin team generates a PO number, communicates it, and updates the remaining budget accordingly.

Intelogy developed a set of Power BI reports to consolidate Purchase Order expenditure. These reports provide the Finance Team with insights into weekly and total request summaries, to identify Purchase Orders exceeding expected values, and allow for detailed exploration of PO requests across various dimensions. This enables the Finance Team to discern trends in supplier relationships, average spending, spend per port locations, and compare allocated contract budgets with actual expenditures.

Travel Requests

As part of the digital transformation initiative, Intelogy designed a Travel Requests solution to serve as a centralised platform for staff seeking assistance with travel arrangements. Accessible through a Canvas Power App which is responsive in nature (and therefore accessible on laptop as well as mobile device screens), the interface simplifies the capture of essential information, accommodating various modes of transport, hotel requirements and any other related information that may be required.

Upon submission of a travel request, an automated notification is sent to a central administrative team. Using a dedicated “Admin” Model-driven app, the admin team reviews and engages in a conversational ‘blog’ within the system, enabling communications between the admin team and the named travellers. Once fulfilled, confirmation and booking details are attached to the request and shared with the requester.

Automated notifications, including timely alerts for approaching due dates, enhance the request management experience. The admin app offers robust reporting capabilities for historical request analysis and trend identification

Client Benefits & Results

The new solutions provide standardised and centralised data storage and management.

The introduction of the PO Requests system facilitates a streamlined process for capital expenditure approvals, with a structured and user-friendly data collection mechanism. This system enables comprehensive reporting that highlights expenditure trends based on supplier relationships and requestors, while also tracking expenses against contracts and ports. The resulting data insights empower stakeholders to make informed decisions, promoting strategic and transparent procurement processes.

The Travel Requests solution features mobile-responsive layouts to guarantee accessibility across devices, streamlining the request process for travel. This enhancement brings clarity to users and expedites the entire workflow by allowing efficient input of detailed information, reducing the necessity for extensive communication. Additionally, the solution provides improved visibility into historical records, facilitating comprehensive reporting on overall expenditure and project-level costs.

Both solutions were intentionally designed with future integration in mind, aligning with the development of other business processes on the Power Platform and Dataverse.

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